Stupid Criminal Tricks

handcuffsFrom the “How Dumb Can They Be?” Files 

Last fall, a Montana woman apparently robbed or attempted to rob five casinos in 24 hours, to raise bail money for her boyfriend, a man known as “Darkness,” who’d been arrested and charged in a shooting the previous day. According to the Billings Gazette, the owner of a stolen car spotted Darkness and the car in a Target parking lot and confronted him; Darkness fired a shot and fled. He was later found hiding behind a nearby house.

The woman—let’s call her “Dumbness”—was charged with three counts of felony robbery, two counts of attempted felony robbery, and one misdemeanor count of obstructing a peace officer. Her M.O.: walk into a casino, ask an employee to make change, then grab cash from the cash drawer or demand it be handed over. Three times, employees cooperated; two times, they refused. She was caught when employees at a bar reported that two women left without paying for their meals and sheriff’s deputies stopped their car.

I’m not sure whether the moral of the story is to always pay for your food, or to avoid men named Darkness. Both, probably.

Update: After I wrote this, Karen Damron  was sentenced to 20 years for 3 counts of robbery and 2 counts of attempted robbery, and ordered to pay $4,300 in restitution. According to the Billings Gazette , that gives her 11 felony convictions. she has a long, sad story, including childhood sexual abuse and forcible drug use. I appreciated that she said she is not using that as an excuse. 

““I don’t have a problem doing incarceration,” Damron told [Judge Russell] Fagg. “It’s society I have a problem with.”

She said when she isn’t incarcerated she isolates herself until she relapse into substance abuse.

“I caused an atrocity in this town because I relapsed,” Damron said, adding, “I’m not a victim of my childhood, I’m a survivor of it … that’s all I have to say, and I’m sorry. These were just the crimes I was caught and charged for.” She also requested a recommendation to the culinary arts program at the state Women’s Prison—which might indicate her hope for rehabilitation. Let’s all hope she makes it.



6 thoughts on “Stupid Criminal Tricks

  1. “These were just the crimes I was caught and charged for.” I wonder if that implies there were others. At any rate, I can see her getting a job in a bakery in Colorado when she gets out. Good plan.

    Thanks for the post, Leslie. Robbery to raise bail–that’s a new one on me.

    • Kaye, I read it that way, too. Seems clear she felt jail and prison give her structure she’s unable to create on her own. I hope she can change that this time. And pick better men. 🙂

  2. In the Wilmington News Journal yesterday (I seem to have pitched the article) a man robbed a convenience store at gunpoint. He was subdued by employees. He is now suing the employees for excessive use of force.

    • Oh, good lord. Well, you can sue for anything — there’s no test at the courthouse door — but I’m sure it will be tossed toot sweet, unless somebody stabbed him after he was tied to a table or some other such thing. If you see an update, do share!

  3. People are amazing in all their variety. I’m not sure I’d ever use quite that stupid a criminal in my stories, but I was glad you posted this for the amazement value, and to point to if anyone says no one could be that stupid when I do have someone do something idiotic in a story. You sure find some interesting cases, Leslie! Thanks.

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